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Foil Fever: an Addiction on the Water
Foil Fever: an Addiction on the Water

Foil Fever: an Addiction on the Water

Foil Fever: an Addiction on the Water


Foil Fever is a more recent ailment, affliction, or addiction among water sports enthusiasts commonly induced by riding hydrofoils. It can be defined as follows:


Predominantly, hydrofoils (as seen below) are the prime culprit.

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Symptoms of Foil Fever

Foil fever symptoms can vary, but normally include:

  • Riding foils every chance you get with a kite, wing, or surf-board;
  • Over-researching carbon-fiber foil component parts, weights, aspect ratios and other geometries; and
  • Incessantly talking about hydro-foils for extended periods of time (almost non-stop).

WARNING: Every conversation, with this disorder, will eventually come full circle back to foils. You could be casually discussing a great recipe for Smoked BBQ Ribs on the grill or a recent hockey game and then suddenly you are talking about kite-foiling under ten knots.


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Risks of foil fever include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Falling into the water from ever higher heights ranging from 2-to-4 feet [imagine falling off of a step-ladder over and over again];
  • Repeatedly being splashed in the face with water upon porpoising (diving the nose of the board into the water and then overcorrecting);
  • General insolvency (you will be broke);
  • Prioritizing hydro-foils over friends & family;
  • Kiting in light-wind conditions;
  • Wake-surfing as far away as possible from the boat; and
  • Catching more waves than normal.

CAUTION: Foil based water-sports can be very dangerous. Proper use of a life-jacket, helmet, and other safety equipment for protection is highly recommended.


Generally, the fever itself is self-perpetuating, since it can be easily justified to catch more waves surfing or to score more kiteboard sessions. Treatment options can be very tricky and the disorder is no usually treatable!

The few foil fever treatment options that do exist include:

  • Double Down: Lean forward into it! Learn how to foil better and longer, so that eventually riding a foil above the water becomes absolutely boring. However, this may be an impossible task considering the amount of time required and the happiness hydro-foiling brings.
  • Move: This solution involves avoidance. You could consider moving to a place that is absolutely devoid of water or where you only have access to very shallow water. Consider a place where no one has ever heard of a hydro-foiling.
  • Realize: Enjoy the ride. Accept that foil fever is an imagined disorder. Have fun and catch more waves.
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Ultimately, foil fever is not a real medical condition, but rather an imagined disorder or simply an observed habit among surfers, kiters, and other watermen. This post should not be confused with other diseases and conditions that are very real, such as yellow fever (transmitted by mosquitos). Please consult a doctor or seek a physician if you have any serious medical conditions.

Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have ever experienced foil fever in the comments below. Best of luck with treatment.


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